In blog 72 I talked about Dont lose your Focus. In this blog I want to talk about the power of Mentors and friendships.
Gail calls me one day and informs me she wants me to be part of the Seattle trip. “Seattle trip”? What was this Seattle trip?. She laughed and told me it was a corporate kids meeting where they talked about the kids vision for the following year.
I was honored to go.
Pam was always my “go to” person when I had questions. She was super knowledgeable about the kids area and she was great at explaining everything. Remember your favorite teacher? What was it that made them your favorite? For me it was being compassionate. Caring & understanding. Being a good listener, then giving sound advice. Pam was such a person. I learned a lot from her in my first year as a buyer, and it stuck with me. We became really good friends from there.
I was really nervous about this trip but Pam made me feel at ease. “It’s not that big of a deal”, she would say. “Just be prepared to speak to your business and what your vision for the department is”. So I studied my business the weekend before and tried to come up with good thoughts on my vision for the department. It was a pretty big deal but she was trying to calm my nerves which meant a lot to me.
Having a point of difference from other stores was my initial thought. We have a pretty good business with our European brands and we could have fun things in the department to set us apart. Pam gave me a lot of great ideas with those things which I had already started doing, so now how do I take it to the next level.
Lorrie was another really knowledgeable buyer. She wasn’t warm and fuzzy like Pam but she also knew her stuff. She was more like a sister who would make fun of you most of the time but always be there for you when you needed her. She was super confident in herself which I admired. We always had a good time together as she usually was upbeat and super sarcastic like me.
She was not shy about her opinions either, if she believed in something, everyone knew where she stood. She always gave me good ideas on things in the kids world and I would try to spin those to my store, as all stores were different in so many ways.
I learned a lot from Pam and Lorrie as peers and was fortunate to learn under a great leader like Gail. People leave an impact on you as the quote above states, it’s how they make you feel. This trio made me feel really good about the future and most importantly made me feel welcomed. This tells you the Power of Mentors and Friendships. And the bonus of it all is, Pam and I are really close to this day
…just sharing my story and tips from my footwear career.
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